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Forgive the drama, but fighting acne is a lot like fighting a war, with each flaw an individual battle. There are many culprits that can cause blemishes, including hormones, pore-clogging products, and overproduction of oil, to name a few. Either way, to get rid of acne, you need products that use exfoliating and skin cleansing ingredients to disarm pimples or blackheads. Let these 10 options be your weapons.

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1. This daily cleanser that gently removes impurities

A good skin care routine starts with a cleanser. Cerave makes a great one that claims to gently remove dirt and oil from acne-prone skin. Its key ingredient is salicylic acid, which penetrates the pores and dissolves skin cells and oils that can lead to acne. The wash also uses niacinamide to improve skin texture and tone, hyaluronic acid to hydrate, and ceramides (lipids found in healthy skin) to protect the skin barrier. The fragrance-free formula is gentle enough that you can use it in the morning and evening, even if you have sensitive skin.

Get Cerave Renewing SA Cleaner from Amazon for $ 9.87

2. This more powerful cleaner that kills bacteria

If your acne shows up as inflamed pimples instead of blackheads, an ingredient called benzoyl peroxide may be a better choice because it can kill the bacteria that cause acne.

The Panoxyl Acne Creamy Wash claims to remove dirt and oil from pores while using 4% Benzoyl Peroxide to prevent acne. To prevent your skin from drying out, the cleanser includes moisturizing ingredients like palmitic acid and glycerin. Still, the brand recommends using it only once a day at first to avoid dryness or irritation. Apply it to damp skin and massage it in, letting it sit for a total of one to two minutes, then rinse well and dry your skin with a white towel (benzoyl peroxide can bleach the fabric).

Get Panoyxl Creamy Acne Cleanser from Amazon for $ 9.48

3. This leave-in treatment that unclogs pores

A cleanser is a great way to introduce skin cleansing ingredients into your routine with minimal irritation, as it is a rinse-out treatment, but you might have even better luck with a solution than you. let act.

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant uses salicylic acid to unclog pores and even out skin tone and texture as well as green tea extract to soothe irritation. The formula is gentle, which means you can apply it up to twice a day after cleansing the skin and before moisturizing it.

Get Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant from Amazon for $ 29.50

4. This nighttime fix for pesky pimples

For a stronger leave-in option using benzoyl peroxide, try Paula’s Choice Clear Regular Strength Skin Lightening Treatment. The cream formula contains 2.5% benzoyl peroxide to kill bacteria, bisabolol to soothe irritation, and allantoin to reduce redness. Apply it to acne prone areas after cleansing and limit use to once a day while your skin adjusts to the ingredient; the brand recommends applying less often if you notice dryness or flaking. Consider replacing your pillowcase with a white one while using this product to avoid bleach stains.

Get Paula’s Choice Clear Regular Strength Skin Lightening Treatment from Amazon for $ 18

5. This moisturizer that exfoliates

Retinol, a weaker type of retinoid, is valued for its anti-aging abilities, but it’s also an exfoliant that can be beneficial for acne-prone skin. By forcing skin cells to turn around faster, retinol prevents pores from becoming clogged. However, retinoids can be irritating to the skin, so if you’ve never used one before, you should consider starting with an over-the-counter retinol, like the one from Lilyana Naturals.

In addition to the skin-smoothing retinol, the cream contains moisturizing and hydrating ingredients, hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, vitamin E, green tea, shea butter and jojoba oil. , because you always need to hydrate oily skin. Start by replacing this product with your normal facial moisturizer once a week and build tolerance before increasing your frequency of application.

Get Lilyana Naturals Retinol Cream from Amazon for $ 19.99

6. This aggressive preventative

Are you no stranger to retinol? Consider switching to a stronger retinoid to fight persistent acne. Differin Gel uses 0.1% adapalene to prevent clogged pores and inflamed skin. Although available over the counter, this treatment is more potent than retinol and may be a more aggressive approach to acne prevention.

For best results, apply it to acne prone areas of skin after cleansing and before moisturizing and allow it to fully penetrate the skin to avoid diluting the ingredients. As with other retinoid treatments, you’ll want to increase your tolerance by starting with an application once a week and increasing the frequency as your skin adapts.

Get Differin Gel from Amazon for $ 12.26

7. This safe treatment for pregnancy

Since hormonal changes can lead to acne, it makes sense that pregnancy could affect your skin (for better or for worse). However, treatments containing salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and retinoids are not approved for pregnancy, so you will need different actives to treat rashes.

Azelaic acid helps exfoliate the skin and can even prevent post-acne discoloration called hyperpigmentation, as it contains enzymes that inhibit the melanin responsible for pigments. This cream containing azelaic acid from The Ordinary claims to improve texture and tone and reduce blemishes. The brand recommends applying it to clean skin in the morning or evening.

Get Sephora Regular Azelaic Acid 10% Suspension Brightening Cream for $ 7.90

8. This alternative exfoliant for sensitive skin

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are another alternative to salicylic acid, which is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA). While not as effective as salicylic acid in treating acne, AHAs also exfoliate the skin, which helps prevent pores from clogging and is gentler on sensitive skin.

An ideal option for those new to exfoliation is The Ordinary 10% Lactic Acid + 2% HA Exfoliating Serum, as it contains moisturizing Hyaluronic Acid and Tasmanian Pepper Berry which reduces l ‘inflammation. The brand recommends applying the serum once a day in the evening.

Get Sephora 10% Regular Lactic Acid + 2% HA Exfoliating Serum for $ 6.80

9. This oil-absorbent clay mask

Whether you are suffering from an acne breakout or just want to treat oily or combination skin with a little TLC, a clay mask is a great option. Beloved Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask contains natural calcium bentonite clay in powder form that you can mix with water or apple cider vinegar to create an oil absorbing mask which will harden on the skin and cleanse the pores. The brand recommends letting the mask dry for five to 20 minutes (10 or less for sensitive skin).

Get the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask from Amazon for $ 14.95

10. These pimple patches

To treat singular pimples instead of acne clumps, pimple patches are essential to eliminate them overnight. These adhesive dots are made up of hydrocolloid dressings that wick moisture away from wounds or pimples, in this case. Put one on overnight or for several hours during the day and you can expect a significant reduction in the size and redness of the blemish. Bonus: These patches can help you avoid scratching your skin, which can introduce bacteria and cause scarring.

Get the Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch The Original from Amazon for $ 21.99

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